If you want a bit of colour over winter then pansies are a popular choice. They can add a pop of colour when not much else is growing. But are they safe from slugs? Do slugs eat winter pansies?
So, Do Slugs Eat Winter Pansies?
But I thought slugs hibernated in winter I hear you cry. Well, this is true, but only partially. Slugs don’t have any desire to hibernate at certain times of the year, they can happily stay awake all year long.
When they do hibernate though is when the weather gets really cold, we’re talking freezing conditions. So if the winter never gets too cold, or only gets below freezing for a short time then the slugs will be out all winter long.
And what is more, there isn’t as much other food available to slugs over winter. So if they are out and about and there are only a few plants growing then you can pretty much guarantee they will get munched!
How to deal with slugs
If you are worried about your winter pansies then you don’t need to give up. Here are some useful tips to keep their numbers at bay.
The classic way to kill off slugs and it does work, there are however drawbacks.
Firstly the little blue pellets aren’t safe to have around if you have pets or young children who might digest them accidentally.
Next, there is the fact that they may be harmful to slugs’ natural predators like hedgehogs who eat slugs killed by pellets, therefore, ingesting the poison themselves.
And then there is the mess they leave, lots of dead slugs on the surface of your garden with nasty trails everywhere.
This is a natural and organic way to kill slugs. There are all kinds of nematodes, which are tiny little creatures that live in your soil, some of these nematodes kill slugs.
This is completely natural and is what happens in your soil all the time. By adding nematodes you are just increasing the number of the slug killing type.
One of the advantages of this method aside from the fact you don’t have to use poison is that part of the way the nematodes kill the slugs makes them burrow into the ground before dying, so no nasty dead slugs lying around!
Control slugs NATURALLY by applying Nemaslug Slug Killer, which contains natural nematodes, that are effective at controlling slugs, but unlike chemical controls, are safe for children, pets, birds and wildlife.
Torch & Bucket
The manual method, and as is often the case with the manual method, this is very effective but time-consuming. Wait until dark and go out into the garden with a torch, some gloves and a bucket and start collecting slugs.
This is best done on a damp night after heavy rain as then the slugs will be everywhere, happy hunting!
You can set up traps to capture slugs and then dispose of them how you wish. There are lots of different ways to do this but one of the more popular ones is a beer trap.
With a beer trap, you set a container, usually a plastic tub of some kind, level with the surface of the soil. You want it level with the surface so slugs can easily get into it but you want the bottom to be deep, so they can’t get out.
You then fill the bottom with some beer, which slugs adore, and leave it. The slugs will make their way into the trap and either drown or be waiting there come morning for you to get rid of them.
One downside to this apart from all the slug carcases you will be getting rid of is that the beer is so potent that it can apparently attract slugs up to 200 meters away and therefore bring even more slugs into your garden than were there before!